Travel Senators urge U.S. airlines to issue ticket refunds after bailout
United flight delayed? The airline is changing how it handles delay payouts
United is making a change — it won't "proactively" give customers refunds for flights delayed less than six hours. © DANIEL SLIM, AFP via Getty Images United Airlines • Cooperation in Providing Nutritional Information: Somewhat Helpful • Health Score: 2.7 / 5 • Fleet Size: 786 • Onboard Water Health Score: 1.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nine Democratic U.S. senators on Tuesday urged the chief executives of 11 major airlines to issue full cash refunds to customers canceling flights during the coronavirus pandemic after Congress approved $25 billion in cash grants for the hard-hit industry.
"We believe your company has a moral responsibility to provide real refunds, not travel vouchers, to consumers, and to support State Department efforts to repatriate any American citizens trying to come home," Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Sheldon Whitehouse and Bob Casey said in the letter.
Korean Air is letting people change their flights from the US to South Korea after a flight attendant tested positive for coronavirus — but there's a catch
Some Korean Air customers can now change their flights to South Korea without extra charge, after a flight attendant tested positive for coronavirus. Customers traveling from the US to South Korea on Korean Air are now allowed to change their flight schedule free of charge, a representative for Korean Air told Business Insider on Wednesday morning Korea Standard Time.The new date of the flight must be on or before June 30. The ticket must have been purchased on or before February 22 to be able to change it free of charge.
Most U.S. airlines are temporarily waiving coronavirus-related change and cancellation fees but are not issuing cash refunds.
"Americans need money now to pay for basic necessities, not temporary credits towards future travel," the senators wrote.
Economic stimulus legislation passed by Congress last week included the cash grants to the passenger airlines.
American Airlines said in response to the letter that its "comprehensive travel waivers we've put in place are designed to meet the full range of our customers' needs."
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Southwest Airlines Co, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines - which were also among carriers receiving the letters - did not immediately comment.
The senators said they want the airlines to disclose "the total value of all travel vouchers and credits you have issued during the coronavirus pandemic" as well the total number flights canceled.
A group representing major airlines has warned about the impact of a potential 30-day domestic flight ban because that would require them to repay consumers for all tickets purchased within seven days if the service cannot be provided even for non-refundable tickets. That could boost liquidity losses by $7 billion to $10 billion and make it harder to obtain credit, the group added. No such flight ban has been imposed.
Airlines Get Their Bailout as Senate Agrees to $2 Trillion Stimulus Package
The airline industry will get its $58 billion bailout.The news caps an extraordinary week of partisan wrangling over elements in the package as the virus seemingly grows in strength. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, now the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., said Tuesday that the number of coronavirus cases in his state is doubling every three days.
The U.S. State Department last week said it was tracking 50,000 Americans abroad who might seek help to return to the United States during the health crisis and was helping to arrange dozens of flights to assist people in returning.
U.S. airlines are collectively cancelling hundreds of thousands of flights. Southwest said on Tuesday it will cut more than 40% of flights from May 3 through June 5 amid a sharp decline in travel demand from the pandemic.
Other U.S. carriers have said they are cutting 60% or more of their flights, including American, United, Delta and Alaska Airlines.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Will Dunham)
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Passenger Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against American Airlines .
American has become the latest airline to be sued after a passenger did not receive a refund.According to the complaint, the carrier failed to provide Ward and other customers with a refund for their canceled flights, instead “limiting and forcing customers into a rebooked flight or travel voucher instead of returning their money.